Very few would begrudge Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova reaching the final of the WTA Championships, so good have the pair been all year. Indeed, the quality on court at Istanbul’s Saturday afternoon lived up to the raised standard of tennis both women have produced this season.
Williams qualified for the final after overcoming Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-1 in a somewhat one-sided semi on Saturday. Bar a dropped serve in the fourth game of the first set, her Polish opponent – often appearing exhausted on court – never seriously threatened Williams.
Meanwhile Sharapova took on world number one Victoria Azarenka in the second semi, taking the match 6-2 6-4. The Russian was in fine form during the first set and ran away with it before Azarenka had fully focussed on the match – maybe still suffering the hangover of playing gruelling matches in the week.
It was effectively over in the second when Sharapova held her serve at 4-1, battling through a 15-minute game that witnessed nine deuces.
Williams and Sharapova will face off on Sunday afternoon for the crown of WTA Champion – a title both have won in the past.